We got a chance to sit down with Stuart Ho, co-founder and COO of Fincore, a digital marketing and e-commerce company which executes the performance marketing behind some of the fastest growing e-commerce brands in Singapore.
Stuart, who turns 30 this year, started the business in 2017, after leaving a lucrative career in commodities at one of the biggest global commodities trading houses. Partnering with his secondary schoolmate, Stuart built Fincore into a multi-million dollar revenue business with a dual focus on e-commerce house-brands and digital marketing services.
We sat down with Stuart, gleaning insight into the fast-paced life of an internet entrepreneur as he juggles managing teams across three countries, a grueling workout regime and life.
1) As COO and co-founder your businesses, what is your work schedule like?
Stuart: Work starts typically at around 9.30am and ends at 6.30pm. We don't usually go crazy with the 'long hours' regiment seen in many start-ups, in fact we think it destructive in the long run and always tell our teams to manage their time well. That said, when there's work to be done working at odd hours or over the weekend is not an issue.
2) Managing teams across three countries sounds like a challenge, how do you do it?
Stuart; The general philosophy we have at Fincore is to build as lean a team as possible. Our operational base is out of Kuala Lumpur and where most of the magic happens and we do have some human resources based out of the Philippines, where we find the graphical design and creative work to be really good. In order for this machine to work, we adopt an extremely decentralized approach to our management and believe with the right personnel, this environment actually promotes creativity and peak-performance.
3) What's a recent book you have read and would recommend?
Stuart: The Third Door by Alex Banayan. It's really a book about the hustle and I think while the author Alex is young and relatively unproven, it does show how someone with nothing but a relentless approach can find his way in this world.
4) What is the vision for Fincore?
Stuart: We want to be leaders in the Direct-to-Consumer space and dominate the niches we are in.
5) Tell us about your workout regime.
Stuart: Twice a week I do calisthenics with a trainer for about an hour where we do a mixture of body-weight exercises maxing repetitions and isometric holds. The workouts typically consist of a mixture of basic pull-ups, muscle-ups, push ups and squats, and taking these exercises to the body's limit.
6) Any special diet you are on?
Stuart: As espoused by my trainer, I've been practicing intermittent fasting where I avoid eating or consuming sugars for 16 hours in a day, typically from 8pm to 12pm the following day. This supposedly helps in the process of getting "shredded".
7) You travel really often, what grooming essentials do you carry in your suitcase?
Stuart: I can't live without my Lab Series Multi-Action Face Wash, suavesmith Texturing Matte Wax, Ralph Lauren Polo Double Black cologne.
8) You do well with the short, neat faded hair style, what do you look for in a pomade?
Stuart: Something that can wash off easily and has a strong hold to last throughout the day.